Friday, 13 September 2013

Un rendezvous: Raden Saleh

I used the French title un rendezvous even though the exhibition is actually provided by JERIN (Jerman dan Indonesia; German and Indonesia) because it was like a date provided by fate. And, the only word that came to my mind is "un rendezvous".

Three years ago I was really interested in joining the Bicentennial Conference on Raden Saleh, but the expense was too expensive for me as I did not put my priority in my personal interest. Actually, I was so interested in joining the Conference because I had read about the Keris Kyai Naga Siloeman from an exhibition booklet wrote by Werner Kraus, the curator of the exhibition. I had also read about Raden Saleh's masterpiece "The Arrest of Pangeran Diponegoro", and how it was presented in a different point of view from "The Submission of Prince Diponegoro" from Nicolaas Pieneman. May be I was also interested in Pangeran Diponegoro because I came from Makassar.

So, it was the Prince who called me to meet Raden Saleh. It's interesting to know that meeting the Prince then led me to Raden Saleh, and the latter introduced me to his teacher, Antoine Payen.

Having lost my first chance to know more about Raden Saleh, made me jump for joy when Goethe asked the volunteer guides from the Indonesian Heritage Society to help guiding in the "Pameran Monografis Raden Saleh" in Galeri National last June 2012.

This exhibition was really enriching me. Mr. Xavier Agustin from Goethe Institute said that we can actually write books from the experiences gained through the exhibition. It's so true...(unfortunately I started to work full time since July 2012, so this draft of my blog post was not updated. I was busy with my other activities).

For me, it was really an awesome meeting with the maestro. Through his paintings, and through Werner Kraus, the curator of the exhibition, I came to uncover the story of the great painter.

It was coincidental (or maybe also by fate?), he was also the part of the Bataviaasch Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen (The Royal Batavian Society of Arts and Sciences), an organization which is now the National Museum of Jakarta. I am one of the Friends of the Museum through the Indonesian Heritage Society. It is amazing to see that his drawings he made when he was 11 years old was for the Royal Batavian Society of Arts and Sciences. So, he took my interest even more... He helped me to encounter Payen, who was probably the one who took him into his path in joining the Royal Batavian Society of Arts and Sciences. 

I also met Karsten Weber, the architect who helped designing the interior design of the exhibition. He assured me that his designing part is an important factor in making a successful exhibition. I should nevertheless agree with him as the pictures uploaded in the social media lured more visitors to visit the exhibition. I saw the long queue up during the weekends of the exhibition (I wrote about it for Unfortunately some new regulation from Facebook prevented the picture to be shown there) . The number of visitors that reached almost 3400 visitors are amazing for the short duration of the exhibition (June 3 to June 17, 2012). 

Thirty years ago, for my final project in the architecture department I took Museum as my project. My real intention was actually to design a science center, still a planned project for TMII at that time. Yet, my lecturer tested me by accepting my second proposal, "an Art Museum", a subject that made me explore more into the visual comfort aspects in designing. Unfortunately, after my graduation, I never had the chance to work for an architectural firm that works on a museum project. I had the chance to work for a construction company specialized in exhibition, but this is the first time I saw that a gallery exhibition was prepared in such a special preparation. 

Irina Vogelsang who assisted Karsten Weber in the preparation of the exhibition also amazed me when I saw her interacting with the children participants of the puppet workshop for children ( I also wrote about the workshop for wikimu here).

My writing was stopped there as a draft. I know that I'd like to write more about that moment, that was my reason of not publishing it. Yet, it waited in my drafting box for more than a year. My activity as a full time worker made me neglect my own writing. Actually it was a magical moment of a meeting with the great painter, c'etait vraiment un rendezvous avec Raden Saleh.

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